Plans to cover King Street in Whitehaven resurface as Copeland look to redevelop the town centre

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King Street, Whitehaven
Artists impression of a covered King Street
King Street in Whitehaven is set for a makeover, as plans from 20 years ago have resurfaced. Copeland Borough Council may be looking to suspend a glass roof over King Street in an attempt to bring the outdoors, indoors, with investment via the Government's Future High Streets fund.

The Future High Streets Fund  aims to revitalise and modernise town centres with a £675 million investment. Whitehaven is the only area in the county to be selected for potential. The fund was announced in the 2018 Budget to support the development of high streets that are seeking to offer more than traditional retail space. The fund will support 100 town centres in England.

The Fund will not make awards to local areas seeking to expand traditional retail on their high streets, and will mostly be used to fund capital projects such as:
  • Improving transport access to town centres
  • Improving vehicle and pedestrian flow in town centres
  • Congestion relieving infrastructure
  • Infrastructure to facilitate new housing and office space
  • Projects that seek to substitute under-used and persistently vacant retail units into residential units.
Copeland Borough Council want to create a new-look Whitehaven which is:
  • Magnetic – businesses and people choosing to invest, visit, live and work;
  • Diverse – with a creative and mixed economy
  • Outward facing – a contemporary capital town, with a global perspective;
  • Better connected – physically and digitally enabled;
  • Inclusive – an attractive and fair place that functions for all;
  • Modern – cultivating a different future for the town. 
Whitehaven is the only area in the county to be selected to go forward into the final phase of assessment, which will involve the development of a full business case for capital investment in the proposals. The council’s initial bid was ranked among the UK’s best by Government officials and it has now received £150,000 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to develop the full business case. The original request to the MHCLG to support the first phase of redevelopment was £480,000.

The deadline for Whitehaven's bid for cash is April, 2020.

The plans for Whitehaven include:
  • Working with public and private investors to repurpose, repair and renew heritage assets.
  • Creating hubs, workspace and housing and opportunities.
  • Acquiring land and demolishing buildings to develop creative leisure spaces, ensuring a flow between the retail area and the harbour.
  • Modernising the high street and expanding the ‘streetscapes’ initiative.
  • Developing creative transport solutions and parking provision.
  • Initiating a digital revolution by developing digital experiences in leisure, tourism and retail.
Did You Know? King Street is named after King James II, and was named in 1687. Before then, it was called Custom House Street.

UPDATE:

Copeland Borough Council have been in touch to tell us that King Street won't be covered over.
  • Imagery used on Little Ireland was taken directly from page 71 of an Executive reports pack published by the council on the 4th November. 
A spokesperson from the council said, "We can confirm that there are no plans to cover King Street as part of the Future High Streets Fund bid, or any other project. The artists impression was produced around 20 years ago as a vision of what the town might look like in the future, but this option is not being considered currently."

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Plans to cover King Street in Whitehaven resurface as Copeland look to redevelop the town centre
Plans to cover King Street in Whitehaven resurface as Copeland look to redevelop the town centre
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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